I Like Big Butts, Usually

I just have a little rant, and I thought I’d share it with the world wide web. 

I have had company this weekend and I had plans to cook a large pork butt in my smoker. Now, cooking outdoors is not a novel idea to me. I usually use either the grill or the smoker to cook all summer long, so the kitchen doesn’t get as hot as an active volcano. I know what I’m doing, and while I may not be an absolute grill master, I am not an amateur. However, I am a woman, and if this weekend was anything to go by, the penis carriers in my life have decided I cannot do this task unaided.

I knew this enormous pork butt was going to need about sixteen hours on the smoker. I knew I would be cooking it overnight. 

Well, my brother came over the night before, and I know he is actually better at smoking than I am, so I asked him a few key questions, he told me his tips, and I had my method firmly in hand. He left and I made a plan for an amazing smoked meat experience for me and my guests. Then my guests showed up and I got started.

I didn’t count on my dad and my boyfriend, neither of whom really grill all that much, and neither of whom had ever smoked a pork butt, needing to put their two cents in. If you add in the cost of male ego inflation this adds up to about five dollars and seventy cents worth of opinions that I didn’t ask for or need, but I digress.

I was happily rubbing the spices on the pork when my dad told me these words “Not to tell you how to do this, but your rub needs to be all over it (it was), and thicker”. Well, this was just the preliminary rub, if you will. It was only going to be on the smoker for an hour, then taken, covered in more rub and brown sugar, with butter added, then wrapped tightly in aluminum foil and put back on the smoker. 

Dad followed me down the stairs to the smoker and looked it over. Then said “Well, I’m not the person to tell you how to cook, but those vents need to be all the way open”. Well, it doesn’t, and I’ve used this particular smoker for two years, but sure, I’ll open the vents. So I opened them a little to pacify him.  Then he looked at the temperature gauge, and said the following: “I’m not the one to tell you how to make this, but the temperature needs to be about fifty degrees higher”. No, dad, it doesn’t. This is an eight pound hunk of meat. It needs to cook low and long. 

Then my boyfriend came home. He advised me I need to get the fire really going, that just the coals were burning. Yes baby, I know, it is supposed to smoke, not get direct heat from a fire. Every hour, my dear Richy would ask me if I was keeping an eye on it, that it was just smoking (which is ironic, considering I’m using a smoker… anyway). I literally was questioned about every decision I made on this, and at one point, Richy just took over and started grilling it the way he thought it should be done. I just went back inside and started watching T.V. and quietly seethed. 

My biggest problem is this: I have been at my brother’s cookouts many, many times. No one – NO ONE – has ever taken over his grill or even so much as offered a suggestion on how he could improve whatever he was cooking. No one has ever suggested he didn’t know what temperature to use or wondered why he put the rub on the way he did. No one questions a man at a grill. But god forbid you have a set of tits. It absolutely astonishes me that since I don’t have chest hair or a set of balls that I am seen as totally incompetant at cooking – outside of making a sandwich for a manly grill master. 

I know, I really do know, that not all men are this way. I know some men who don’t feel or think this way, and I don’t mean to generalize any group of people, but I also cannot be the only woman this has happened to. I don’t think I am just being salty, I’m just so tired of being second guessed because I am devoid of a Y chromosome. I’d love to hear opinions on this and just see if anyone out there can commiserate with me. And if you ever need a solid alibi, I’ve got your back.

Plumbing 101

You may ask yourself, “Self, why is there water currently running in a large stream out of the faucet in this Hootchie’s bathtub”? The answer is simple; the same reason I couldn’t flush the toilet this morning. Oh, why is that? Again, simple… because Richy replaced the bathroom sink faucet. 

Yes, you read that right. The bathtub is broken and the toilet can’t be flushed because the sink was worked on. 

I’m not sure how this happened. What I do know is this: a few weeks ago, Richy changed the shower head to a lovely push-button adjustable shower head with several settings. It is brushed copper, a lovely dark color, and I have enjoyed it. Well, a few days ago, Richy sent me a text asking only “Brushed Tuscan copper, or brass, or stainless steel?” Well, having absolutely no other information, I chose brushed Tuscan copper. Richy said that was the right answer, and came home with a bathroom sink fixture that is the same color of the showerhead. It is a nice brand, and looks great in the bathroom. The only drawback is that changing the faucet somehow initiated a leak in the sink pipes. There is now a plastic garbage can under the sink collecting the drainage.

 

That was okay, really, the leak. Richy just needed one little seal or nut or some kind of doodad, so no big deal.  Well, the bathroom was looking pretty good, so why not make all of the knobs and faucet fixtures match? It must have seemed like a good idea to Richy, so he brought home a bathtub handle to match the showerhead and leaky sink. He also brought home a shower head water filter and needed to install that. He managed to install the filter fairly easily and he showed me how much softer the water felt. I made many impressed faces and went back to whatever I was doing. 

Then I heard it.  Suddenly, he seemed to be running the bathtub wide open. I mean, it sounded like a waterfall in the bathroom, but I just kept to myself. Above the roar of whatever hell was breaking loose in the bathroom, I heard “Hey baby?” “Thereeeeeesa”.  Why would he want me in there? I soon found out. 

I walked into the bathroom and he had the shower curtain stretched as far across the tub as possible and the roar of the water sounded like I was under a waterfall. He yelled over the din “Baby! Hold the curtain like this! I gotta shut the water off!”  I held the curtain, all the while making sure he didn’t feel I doubted his ability to do plumbing work. He left the bathroom and went out to turn the water off and I took the tiniest peek behind the curtain.  OH NO! Water was jetting out of a hole in the bathtub where the handle USED to be at. I had no idea why there was just a hole where a handle should be, but the water was coming out at the rate of a firehose! I had no idea that household water pressure would be that intense and I had no idea what to do. The tub was filling faster than it could drain, water was being sprayed out of every available space around the shower, the floor was soaked, and all that stood between me and drowning was a very thin octopus shower curtain.

Finally, he got the water off and the nuclear blast of hot water coming from the new shower hole subsided to a drip and then off. Richy came back and helped me find my way carefully out of the soggy bathroom after which he shut the door and began working again with all of the water in the house shut off. Finally at some point in the night, Richy decided he just didn’t have the right part (a copper ring that blew right off the faucet when that water blasted it’s way out of the hole). He called it a night and went to bed after filling one pitcher of water to flush the toilet if we needed to use it.

I had to use the bathroom once in the night, and then this morning when I woke up, but didn’t dare to flush. I brushed my teeth with bottled water, but couldn’t wash my hands, so I sanitized them and started my day. Richy left for Lowe’s soon after and (finally) bought the ring he needed. He came back after trying to find it unsuccessfully at four stores, and finally found it at the fifth store. Proud of his accomplishment, he came back and quickly fixed the shower hole. He showed me that it was put together. He had to go back to work, so he left and I decided to take my shower. 

It really was a nice shower. The filter did make the water seem somehow softer and it rinsed off better. The shower head is a water conservation kind, so I had plenty of hot water to wash, shave my legs, exfoliate my feet, and luxuriate in the bubbles and pretty soap smells. I took all the time I wanted, rinsed one final time and turned the water off. Well, I tried to turn the water off. The handle wouldn’t go down far enough to turn the water all the way off. A steady stream of warm water about the size of my thumb was happily pouring out of the faucet without a care in the world for my water bill. I quickly got dressed and tried again to turn it off. No luck. 

Eventually, I had to give up and call Richy. He came back home from work and had to take the handle apart to get the water off again. Of course, the water had to be turned off. 

And now I have to pee. Welcome to my life.

Freebie Entertainment Sure To Cure Your Isolation Blues!

We all know that it’s rough being stuck inside but thanks to some generous service providers it doesn’t have to be boring! I’ve put together a short list of services (including links) that are sure to take the edge of your social distancing blues! 

HBO

As part of a new “Stay Home Box Office” promotion, HBO is making 500 hours of programming, including series such as “Barry,” “The Sopranos” and “The Wire,” as well as films and documentaries, available free for a limited time. You can stream HBO’s programming without a subscription on both HBO, HBO Now, its standalone streaming service, and HBO Go, which is typically limited to those who already get HBO on a paid TV service.

Quibi (90 Days)

(Quibi stands for “quick bites.”) This new entertainment service focuses on short-form entertainment. After the 90 days the regular version of the service is $5 a month and if $8 per month is within your budget, you can get the ad free version.

Shudder (30 Days With Promo Code SHUTIN) 

Love being scared? If so Shudder, from AMC Networks, is right up your alley! This channel focuses on horror content with a mix of thriller, supernatural, scary movies and TV shows. Plans start at $4.75 per month; normally there’s a seven-day trial period, but use the code to get a full 30 days for free!

YouTube Premium

During the pandemic, the video-sharing giant is serving up more than a dozen YouTube original series free for anyone to stream. These titles, which include “Impulse,” a supernatural thriller murder-mystery from Doug Liman; a competition show called “Escape The Night”; the comedy series “Foursome”; and an animated kids’ show about Robin Hood called “Sherwood” so head on over to YouTube and enjoy it while it lasts! 

MasterClass

MasterClass offers online classes in a wide range of subjects, taught by leaders in their fields. We’re talking Gordon Ramsey on cooking, Martin Scorsese on film-making, Penn & Teller on magic and so on. Starting Wednesday, April 15, MasterClass Live will offer one free streaming class per week

You can also skip on over to Android Authority for a nice long list of free games and apps as well!

Captain’s Log: Quarantine Day 483

Captain’s Log: Quarantine Day 483

Well, the year is 2020 AD and the earth has had enough of our shit, so she has resorted to viral warfare in the form of COVID-19. Honestly, it should be a warning to us that if we don’t stop crapping up the planet, she will eventually shake us off like a bad case of fleas. With that being said, I have been quarantined inside my house since February, and I’m pretty sure it’s been, in the words of Usher, fiftyeleven days, umpteen hours since I’ve seen anyone other than the one human I live with and my dog. I’m immunocompromised and really not looking to have a flu virus take me out after surviving two strokes, kidney failure, and a heart attack. That just wouldn’t seem fair. 

So, to stay as safe as possible, I have been having my groceries delivered and my boyfriend has been braving the outdoors to bring home toilet paper (when available) and supplies. Grocery delivery has been a pretty interesting service during this time of panic-buying and hoarding. One poor guy, Justin, from Instacart, did it last time and had to basically replace everything on the list. He tried so hard, though. He sent me pictures (see slideshow) of the bread and meat aisles in Kroger with nothing in them. He couldn’t get all 10 of my yogurt flavors, but he found six random ones including a single blackberry yogurt which was hidden at the back of the shelf. 

Grocery shopping in this manner makes cooking interesting. You might get cream of mushroom soup, but just maybe not in your preferred brand, OR you might get cream of celery, and you just roll with it. You might have planned on having barbecued ribs for dinner, but you ended up with boneless pork chops, so now you’re having pork chops instead, and cream of celery soup for dessert and that’s just life with the Rona.

The deliveries are what I enjoy. Honestly, it’s the only time I get to interact with other people (besides Richy, who is great, but not new and he works most of the day). I have stood at my front door, talking, six feet away, to random delivery strangers for a good seven or eight minutes, just to have a new interaction. I have refrained from actually bribing these strangers not to leave my porch, but I’m not ruling it out as an option in the future. 

I’ve seen my daughter, who brought me black market toilet paper, and my son and his girlfriend once since all this started (and I couldn’t hug them which broke my little mommy heart). I’ve got a friend who comes by to check up on me occasionally, and I’ve got Richy. That’s my entire group of interaction during Rona-2020. As a slight introvert, you’d think this would make me a pretty happy house goblin, but it turns out, I’m more inclined to be social than I thought. Either that, or I have a problem with authority and want to only go outside when I’m told I am not allowed to. Either way, I miss people… but I’ll tell you this, if I had to get stranded in a house with only one person and one dog, I’m glad I have the ones that are here.